44. And, therefore, if a man fully understands that "the end of
the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and of a good
conscience, and of faith unfeigned," and is bent upon making all his
understanding of Scripture to bear upon these three graces, he may
come to the interpretation of these books with an easy mind. For while
the apostle says "love," he adds "out of a pure heart," to provide
against anything being loved but that which is worthy of love. And he
joins with this "a good conscience," in reference to hope; for, if
a man has the burthen of a bad conscience, he despairs of ever reaching
that which he believes in and loves. And in the third place he says:
"and of faith unfeigned." For if our faith is free from all
hypocrisy, then we both abstain from loving what is unworthy of our
love, and by living uprightly we are able to indulge the hope that our
hope shall not be in vain.
For these reasons I have been anxious to speak about the objects of
faith, as far as I thought it necessary for my present purpose; for
much has already been said on this subject in other volumes, either by
others or by myself. And so let this be the end of the present book.
In the next I shall discuss, as far as God shall give me light, the
subject of signs.